Fast Fashion is a Flop!

Clothing+dumped+in+a+landfill.

Emiliano Grusovin

Clothing dumped in a landfill.

Audrey Cooper, Reporter

According to Merriam Webster’s Dictionary, fast fashion is “an approach to design, creation, and marketing of clothing trends that emphasizes making fashion trends quickly and cheaply available to consumers”.

While this may seem appealing, the cons of fast fashion outweigh the pros. Just to produce one pair of denim jeans, websites like Easyecotips.com and responsibility.pvh.co have said that from the water for growing cotton and coloring/dying the jeans, up to 10,000 liters of water may be used. Energy wise denim jeans use 1.5 kWh per pair.

The media site Glamour stated that the average American owns seven pairs of jeans.

If there are 331.9 million people in the U.S. (United States Census Bureau) just water wise 23,233,000,000,000 gallons are used on jeans.

Likewise, the average tee shirt emits 7 kg of CO2 during production. (Carbonfact.com). A news site, CBC states that companies like ZARA and SHEIN, which are known as some of the largest fast fashion companies, add 600-6,000 new products daily.

Because there are so many new options, “the average number of times an item was worn decreased by 36% overall.” (Earth.org). The same website also mentioned that each year “92 million tons of clothes-related waste” is produced.

All of this ends up either burned; which produces more toxins, or in the landfill to decompose at a rate that is much too slow.

Now it is not just the environment that suffers. UK Channel 4 made a discovery that SHEIN workers on average are required to make at least 500 clothing items per day, work 18 hour shifts with only one day off monthly, and only make a few cents per item.

An inside look at a factory in China. (Edwin Lee (Fallout Media))

The effects on the environment and worker’s well being are very dangerous. So what can be done to lessen the consequences of fast fashion?

1. Buy from ethical stores that thrive on sustainability, biodegradability, and the treatment of their workers

2. Resell or donate items in good condition that are not being used. Do not throw them away, unless they are damaged.

3. Learn how to upcycle old clothes to give them a longer life

4. Try out making DIY clothes by sewing, crochet etc

5. Spread the word!

Overall fast fashion is an easily accessible way to stay on trend but incredibly unethical and dangerous. As a society we should do our best to steer clear hopes to save our planet and its society.